Living in a big city, or, more accurately, near a big city, one is inevitably informed of crime that occurs.  I live just outside Chicago, the third largest city by population in the United States.  Crime statistics about burglaries, robberies, and the like are available to me any time I want to watch the evening news.  But the would-be robbers and pick-pockets that inhabit the streets are not the thieves for which I have the greatest concern. 

The greatest thieves of our abundance we experience are the messages, the ideas that suggest there is lack.  But this is just part of the picture.  A reasonable question might be, “what do we do with our knowledge of the world when considering abundance?”  Attention quite naturally turns toward oil as a leading example of this issue.  It’s not only the fuel for our vehicles; it’s the fuel of the economic engine across the globe.  It’s hard to ignore the reports that tell us supplies are on the decline.  Scientists and political leaders debate the veracity of one report versus another, seemingly to produce more and more fear about the potential end.  Fear, too, seems to be part of the global economic engine. 

I see the reports, too, and find myself experiencing reactions to the messages.  But I also seek to continue living the life I choose. This includes continuing to be a consumer of news and information programming I enjoy.  As an avid consumer of news programming, I see the messages that are broadcast out to millions.  Unlike some others who proclaim that it’s patently undesirable to watch news programming if your desire is to live a spiritually awakened life, I embrace news and information programming.  I see it as one of the ways I’m able to see the unfolding of a new consciousness within our social fabric. 

I recognize that what I react to, particularly the things I don’t like I am in some way participating in, but I also understand the value of contrast.  I recognize that I am not the content of my thoughts and emotions, and my reaction to a news story doesn’t need to become a force that shapes my destiny.  Yet this could easily become the case, I could find myself easily becoming trapped in a state of reaction if I were not able to accept what is so about the world.  I can accept what is so about the world without needing to like it.  This is a distinction I make frequently with my clients: Acceptance does not equal Approval.  

The distinction between acceptance and approval is a discipline primarily for the conscious thinking mind.  It helps me to recognize that there are many things in the world of which I’m not going to approve.  It doesn’t help me, or anyone else, to live in a state of reactivity to the conditions such as they are.  In the same way, however, just because I’m capable of accepting things as they are doesn’t mean I sit back and do nothing to change myself or the world in which I live.  Nor does it mean I need to consider myself a door-mat for the actions of others who may view my approach as evidence of weakness. 

It is, in fact, a stance that produces a great deal of peace.  Not identifying with the content of my thoughts and emotions, I am not compelled to defend them should someone express disagreement.  The operative word here being, “compelled.”  I have the option of defending any position I desire, which is a benefit that comes from not identifying with the content of my mind-made self, the ego. 

It is in this way that I am also able to take a stand for abundance.  Notice I didn’t say something like “against….” The abundance that never diminishes is the reservoir of unending energy that is your Source, you Being, that transcendent stillness deep within.  The circumstances of the outer world will come and go, and identifying with your Source within means you will maintain your connection to the still point within despite the ebb and flow of the world around you. 

The thieves of our abundance lie in identification with the world of forms, believing these to be real.  This is the seat of uncertainty and insecurity that the ego responds to as threats.  When we feel uncertain, when we feel our abundance (in the outer world) is threatened, the ego’s tendency is to contract, retreat, and defend.  In the process we can easily get caught up in the content of the conscious thinking mind, believing it to be real, and in the process we pinch closed the flow of energy from our source.  This is what makes it—whatever the “it” is—feel “bad.” 

The abundance you wish to experience in the outer world is within you first.  It is never in limited supply, and doesn’t depend upon tankers for its delivery.  The outward manifestation of abundance may change with passing time, but the inward will always be there, always be constant, and completely reliable.  The laws of the universe including the Law of Attraction will always operate regardless of the changes in our outer conditions.  There are really no thieves in the world that would ever be able to steal your abundance.

Best wishes,

Dr. Ralph W.